Rally Poland: Ogier leads after brake problems halt Tanak's charge

Sebastien Ogier moved into the Rally Poland lead on Friday afternoon as early star Ott Tanak ran into brake trouble and fell back

Rally Poland: Ogier leads after brake problems halt Tanak's charge

With the stages cleaner for the afternoon after the morning running cleared the worst of the loose gravel, World Rally Championship leader Ogier's first-on-the-road status was no longer so costly.

He quickly began a charge from his previous third place and caught second-placed Volkswagen team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen.

When the brake problems that had niggled at Tanak all day became worse on the long Stanczyki stage, accompanied by high tyre wear, Ogier was through into the lead.

Mikkelsen stayed with him to the end of the day, though, and finished the leg just 2.1 seconds behind.

With no retirements among the WRC pack on Friday, Ogier will be first on the road again for Saturday for the first time all season, forcing him to sweep the stage clean on the first pass once, meaning his lead remains vulnerable.

Jari-Matti Latvala completed a VW one-two-three, 10.8s away from the lead, while Tanak's M-Sport Ford ended the day back in fourth, 16.7s off Ogier.

The extremely hot temperatures for the afternoon loop caused tyre wear frustrations for some, while others thrived.

That shook up the battle for the rest of the points, with Kris Meeke and Elfyn Evans among those falling back, the M-Sport driver also having a trip off the road.

Robert Kubica comfortably held his own, going second fastest to Ogier on the afternoon's first stage and then completing a Pirelli one-two behind Martin Prokop on the closing superspecial.

The ex-Formula 1 driver finished the day sixth in his RK Ford, just 1.5s behind fifth-placed Hayden Paddon's Hyundai.

Thierry Neuville is right behind this pair in another Hyundai, while Meeke has fallen away in eighth.

Mads Ostberg struggled badly for pace all day and was stunned to suddenly end up second quickest out of the blue on the day's last full-length stage.

That brought him back into the top 10, just behind Dani Sordo and ahead of Evans.

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS9

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